No Nintendo home console has come close to reaching the number of sales the Wii saw. But according to Nintendo, that might not necessarily be the goal for the Switch.
A few weeks ago, Nintendo released its worldwide sales figures for its consoles. As of March 31st, 2018, the Nintendo Switch had sold 17.79 million units. That’s more than the Wii U’s 13.56 million units, but far below the astonishing 101.63 million units the Wii sold. However, in a recent investor Q&A, Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima revealed that Nintendo may have other benchmarks in mind for the Switch.
“As for the Nintendo Switch life cycle, we need to steadily provide new experiences that will keep consumers always wanting to play Nintendo Switch in order to maintain sales for a long time,” Kimishima said. “Our company has a lot of experience with selling gaming systems, and we will actively incorporate everything we have learned, including our failures, into our planning.
“Changing environmental factors, including the activities of other companies, can impact the Nintendo Switch life cycle. So the benchmark is not whether the Nintendo Switch sales can surpass total Wii sales, but rather how we adapt and respond to changes in the market and strive to continue selling Nintendo Switch as long as possible.”
In other words, it seems that Nintendo isn’t aiming for a huge burst of popularity for the Switch, but rather for console longevity. While Kimishima didn’t elaborate, it’s possible that this strategy is copied over from Nintendo’s handheld systems. Both the DS and 3DS had long life cycles (with the 3DS’s still currently ongoing), and have sold 154 million and 72 million units respectively. The Switch’s hybrid home console/portable nature might also give Nintendo reason to consider this strategy.
The full investor Q&A can be read on Nintendo’s website.